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Controlling text anti-aliasing

From: Illustrator CS5 for Web and Interactive Design

Video: Controlling text anti-aliasing

At the beginning of this title, we spent a significant amount of time talking about anti-aliasing, but we were really focused on making sure that our artwork look nice, clean, and sharp. However, perhaps even more importantly than the artwork itself, we have to ensure that our text is readable, and when we do save our text as an image, instead of as text itself inside of our browser, we have to really be concerned about how that text is going to be anti- aliased as well, because sometimes that blurring of the edges can make the text unreadable.

Controlling text anti-aliasing

At the beginning of this title, we spent a significant amount of time talking about anti-aliasing, but we were really focused on making sure that our artwork look nice, clean, and sharp. However, perhaps even more importantly than the artwork itself, we have to ensure that our text is readable, and when we do save our text as an image, instead of as text itself inside of our browser, we have to really be concerned about how that text is going to be anti- aliased as well, because sometimes that blurring of the edges can make the text unreadable.

Now here is the interesting thing though, about working with text and about applying anti-aliasing. Each time that you set some text, there are different settings. There's different point sizes. You have some text that has very beautiful thick and thins, that has really nice serifs, and then you have other type that has other attributes inside of it. So each time that you set a word of text, it can really appear very different. So it is really not one magical setting that you can just say snap to the pixel grid. We really need to treat each type object as its own entity, and we need to make sure that the anti- aliasing is going to look great.

So what's really nice about Illustrator - and this is new to CS5 - is that you have the ability to choose between a variety of different anti-aliasing methods, different technologies or algorithms about how basically the monitor goes ahead, and rasterizes that text and applies the blurring or the anti-aliasing to the edges. And we choose between them, so that whatever looks best for the text that we have at time is always going to look great. So let's see how that works. I am going to focus right now on this document. It's called, Monthly Specials. This is going to be kind of an ad banner, so there isn't going to be any text, or any live editable text inside of this.

It's simply going to be exported as a GIF, or a JPEG. So I want to make sure that my text is going to look as good as possible. So the first I want to do is I want to make sure that my Pixel Preview is actually turned on, and I am actually going to zoom a little bit right here on this 250. Notice because my Pixel Preview is turned on, I can click on this text. Even though it's nice, clean, sharp, vector text when I print it out on a printer, we know that when this gets rasterized, it's going to turn into little pixels, and I will have this anti-aliasing here. And you can see that around the edges here, it appears somewhat blurry.

So what I am going to do is I am actually going to go ahead now and open up my Character panel. A quick way to find that is right here inside of the Control panel, just click on the word "Character." And at the bottom, there is a setting here for anti-aliasing. Now if we start kind of clicking on this pop-up here, we will see that there are four different options for anti- aliasing inside of Illustrator. There is actually the ability to just turn off anti-aliasing altogether. If you choose None, then anti- aliasing does not apply to this text. So it looks kind of blocky and chunky here. But in reality, sometimes when you have really small text, you don't want any anti-aliasing to be applied to it at all because that way the blurring may make the text completely unreadable.

So by disabling the anti-aliasing, by setting it to none, you are ensuring that that text is going to actually be readable, even though it might not look the greatest. Now, we can also choose some several other anti-aliasing methods though. The default setting is something called Sharp, but you can also experiment with things called Crisp, and a setting here called Strong. Now again, there is no magic setting. There is no, you know, one sitting for everything. Every font that you choose, every point size that you are at is always going to look little bit differently. So you want to make sure that when you are setting your graphics inside Illustrator and you have text that you know is going to be exported as a graphic, you want to come here to the Character panel and make sure that the correct anti-aliasing is set for that line of type.

One thing to note, by the way, if you take your Type tool and you go ahead and you kind of mouse over one of these characters, you will see that you do not have the ability to have different anti-aliasing settings for each individual character. It's kind of a setting that applies to the entire Type object as a whole. Now there is one other important thing to note about using these settings here inside of Illustrator. You see right now, Illustrator is letting us assign these settings now on the artboard. However, we need to ensure that Illustrator picks up these settings when this file is actually exported for whatever our needs are.

So I am actually going to switch now to my regular Selection tool here. I am going to choose File > Save for Web because maybe I now want to go ahead and export this art as a GIF or JPEG, for example. Notice over here on the bottom where it says Image Size, there is a setting called Art Optimized. This refers to the different types of anti-aliasing that is applied to our artwork as we export it. However, because I specified a different type of anti-aliasing for my artwork, using the Type settings inside of Illustrator, I need to also ensure that this pop-up is set to Type Optimized.

This will actually now pick up the Type settings that I have specified inside Illustrator, specifically for the text itself and allow me to now export my graphic with those settings intact.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS5 for Web and Interactive Design
Illustrator CS5 for Web and Interactive Design

74 video lessons · 23784 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
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  1. 6m 56s
    1. Welcome
      1m 33s
    2. Choosing Illustrator for web and interactive design
      2m 54s
    3. Illustrator and the web design workflow
      2m 7s
    4. Using the exercise files
      22s
  2. 40m 9s
    1. Pixel dimension vs. resolution
      4m 14s
    2. Pixel Preview mode and anti-aliasing
      5m 39s
    3. Taking charge of anti-aliasing
      5m 27s
    4. Choosing the right color management settings
      7m 25s
    5. Setting up important preferences
      6m 22s
    6. Setting up a workspace optimized for web design
      11m 2s
  3. 54m 5s
    1. Using the Web document profile
      3m 39s
    2. Creating custom document profiles
      9m 38s
    3. Using Illustrator's free web templates
      2m 33s
    4. Creating a sitemap or wireframe
      2m 50s
    5. Setting up an entire web site
      9m 33s
    6. Setting up a grid
      10m 37s
    7. Setting up an online ad campaign
      8m 13s
    8. Setting up icons for iOS
      2m 24s
    9. Setting up mobile content with Adobe Device Central
      4m 38s
  4. 32m 22s
    1. Understanding web-safe colors
      11m 50s
    2. Limiting the Color Guide to web-safe colors
      4m 53s
    3. Using Recolor Art to convert art to web-safe colors
      4m 54s
    4. Getting color inspiration from Adobe Kuler
      6m 48s
    5. Using Recolor Artwork to modify colors across a site
      3m 57s
  5. 56m 54s
    1. Using the Save for Web & Devices feature
      6m 44s
    2. Understanding the GIF file format and its settings
      10m 20s
    3. Understanding the JPEG file format and its settings
      7m 39s
    4. Understanding the PNG file format and its settings
      3m 21s
    5. Understanding the WBMP file format and its settings
      1m 18s
    6. Understanding the SWF file format and its settings
      4m 13s
    7. Understanding the SVG file format and its settings
      3m 41s
    8. Adjusting the dimensions of a graphic
      4m 46s
    9. Optimizing files to a specific file size
      4m 5s
    10. Modifying Save for Web & Devices output settings
      6m 51s
    11. Previewing content in Adobe Device Central
      3m 56s
  6. 56m 6s
    1. Setting point type in Illustrator
      4m 11s
    2. Setting area type in Illustrator
      5m 20s
    3. Formatting text quickly with paragraph styles
      14m 39s
    4. Overriding formatting with character styles
      3m 2s
    5. Controlling text anti-aliasing
      4m 50s
    6. Simulating the CSS box model
      11m 14s
    7. Adding cool reflections to text and graphics
      8m 26s
    8. Applying settings quickly with Graphic Styles
      4m 24s
  7. 35m 56s
    1. Understanding the concept of slicing
      3m 22s
    2. Creating slices manually
      4m 26s
    3. Creating slices from guides
      2m 45s
    4. Creating slices from objects
      7m 33s
    5. Understanding the different slice types
      4m 20s
    6. Applying settings to slices
      9m 20s
    7. Creating hotspots with image maps
      4m 10s
  8. 23m 35s
    1. Exporting static SWF files from Illustrator
      3m 35s
    2. Animated SWF: Converting Illustrator layers to SWF frames
      4m 3s
    3. Animated SWF: Using blends to define motion
      8m 35s
    4. Animated SWF: Adding static artwork to an animation
      3m 24s
    5. Animated SWF: Controlling time within an animation
      3m 58s
  9. 17m 13s
    1. Preserving slices and structure with PSD export
      6m 10s
    2. Working with Photoshop Smart Objects
      4m 35s
    3. Sharing color swatches between Illustrator and Photoshop
      2m 52s
    4. Generating an animated GIF file with Photoshop
      3m 36s
  10. 7m 28s
    1. Exporting HTML from Illustrator for use in Dreamweaver
      3m 31s
    2. Exporting CSS and DIVs from an Illustrator layout
      3m 57s
  11. 12m 37s
    1. Moving art between Illustrator and Fireworks
      6m 25s
    2. Using dynamic shapes from Fireworks
      3m 48s
    3. Sharing color swatches between Illustrator and Fireworks
      2m 24s
  12. 16m 7s
    1. Building files for use in Flash Catalyst
      4m 28s
    2. Creating a new Flash Catalyst project from an Illustrator file
      3m 40s
    3. Copying and pasting artwork between Illustrator and Flash Catalyst
      2m 4s
    4. Roundtrip editing between Illustrator and Flash Catalyst
      3m 36s
    5. Creating Flex skins for use in Flash Builder
      2m 19s
  13. 19m 48s
    1. Understanding symbols: The lifeblood of Flash
      4m 58s
    2. Symbols: Understanding 9-slice scaling
      4m 18s
    3. Setting text that will be used in Flash Professional
      3m 5s
    4. Moving artwork between Illustrator and Flash Professional
      7m 27s
  14. 1m 6s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 6s

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